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Nutritional Bioactive Compounds and Health Benefits of Fresh and Processed Cucumber (Cucumis Sativus L.)



Gherkin (Cucumis sativus L.) generally known as commercial cucumber, is native to the region of Asia, and is now widely cultivated in many other parts of the world to be sold fresh and for pickle production. Cucumber is a rich source of valuable nutrients and bio active compounds and is used not only as food but also in therapeutic medicine and cosmetology. Cucumber is considered as a vegetable crop and is rich in polyphenolics and cucurbitacins, that are known to possess multiple biological activities such as antioxidant, anti-carcinogenic, anti-hyaluronidase, anti-elastase, anti-inflammatory, anti-hyperglycemic, diuretic, amylolytic, antimicrobial, and analgesic effects. Fruits that are preserved by dipping in a solution of salt or vinegar that undergo a fermentation process are known as pickles. Since, pickling of gherkins enhances the flavor, texture, and nutritional aspects, it is also very popular for its nutritive and health-promoting potential; especially against diabetes complications and cardiovascular disorders due to the presence of monounsaturated fats and other valuable minor components such as phenolics etc. The variety, geographic location of production, harvest time, and the processing techniques practiced are some of the factors shown to influence the composition of cucumber. This review focuses comprehensively on the nutrients and high-value bio active compound profile as well as medicinal and functional aspects of fresh and processed cucumber. Multiple benefits associated with the phytochemical and nutritional composition of this food commodity are also discussed in the following sections.
Sumerianz Journal of Biotechnology, 2020, Vol. 3, No. 9, pp. 75-82
ISSN(e): 2617-3050, ISSN(p): 2617-3123
© Sumerianz Publication
CC BY: Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0
Original Article Open Access
*Corresponding Author
75 75
Nutritional Bioactive Compounds and Health Benefits of Fresh and
Processed Cucumber (Cucumis Sativus L.)
T. G. G. Uthpala*
Department of Food Science and Technology, Faculty of Applied Sciences, University of Sri
Jayewardenepura, Colombo, Sri Lanka
R. A. U. J. Marapana
Department of Food Science and Technology, Faculty of Applied Sciences, University of Sri
Jayewardenepura, Colombo, Sri Lanka
K. P. C. Lakmini
Department of Food Science and Technology, Faculty of Applied Sciences, University of Sri
Jayewardenepura, Colombo, Sri Lanka
Department of Aquaculture and Fisheries, Faculty of Livestock Fisheries and Nutrition, Wayamba University
of Sri Lanka, Makandura, Sri Lanka
D. C. Wettimuny
Department of Food Science and Technology, Faculty of Applied Sciences, University of Sri
Jayewardenepura, Colombo, Sri Lanka
Department of Biosystems Technology, Faculty of Technology, University of Sri Jayewardenepura, Sri Lanka
Article History
Received: August 16, 2020
Revised: September 8, 2020
Accepted: September 12, 2020
Published: September 16, 2020
Gherkin (Cucumis sativus L.) generally known as commercial cucumber, is native to the region of Asia, and is now
widely cultivated in many other parts of the world to be sold fresh and for pickle production. Cucumber is a rich source
of valuable nutrients and bio active compounds and is used not only as food but also in therapeutic medicine and
cosmetology. Cucumber is considered as a vegetable crop and is rich in polyphenolics and cucurbitacins, that are known
to possess multiple biological activities such as antioxidant, anti-carcinogenic, anti-hyaluronidase, anti-elastase, anti-
inflammatory, anti-hyperglycemic, diuretic, amylolytic, antimicrobial, and analgesic effects. Fruits that are preserved by
dipping in a solution of salt or vinegar that undergo a fermentation process are known as pickles. Since, pickling of
gherkins enhances the flavor, texture, and nutritional aspects, it is also very popular for its nutritive and health-promoting
potential; especially against diabetes complications and cardiovascular disorders due to the presence of monounsaturated
fats and other valuable minor components such as phenolics etc. The variety, geographic location of production, harvest
time, and the processing techniques practiced are some of the factors shown to influence the composition of cucumber.
This review focuses comprehensively on the nutrients and high-value bio active compound profile as well as medicinal
and functional aspects of fresh and processed cucumber. Multiple benefits associated with the phytochemical and
nutritional composition of this food commodity are also discussed in the following sections.
Keywords: Cucumber; Gherkin; Cucurbitacins; Phytochemicals; Antioxidants; Health benefits.
1. Introduction
Cucumber belongs to family Cucurbitaceae, is comprised of 118 genera and 825 species [1-3]. Though they
have an Asian origin, members of this family are largely scattered over both in tropical and subtropical regions of the
world. One of the most demanded cucurbits due its nutritional values, health benefits and diverse production is
cucumber [3-6]. Cucumbers are widely cultivated in Europe and the annual production shows in the region of 26.7%
of the total vegetable production [2, 7, 8]. Even though Cucumber is a rich source of important nutrients and
bioactive compounds, it has been used not only as food but also in therapeutic medicine and beauty culture
applications since ancient times [5, 9, 10].
Also cucumber is rich in moisture content and very low in calories [11]. Cucumber considered as vegetable crop
is rich in polyphenolics and other phytochemicals [12] that are known to possess multiple biological activities such
as antioxidant, ant carcinogenic, anti-hyaluronidase, anti-elastase, hypolipidemic, anti-inflammatory, anti-
hyperglycemic, diuretic, amylolytic, antimicrobial, and analgesic activities [9, 11, 13-15].
These fruits are preserved by dipping it in a solution of salt or vinegar are known as pickles that undergo a
fermentation process [3, 16, 17]. Since, the gherkin pickling enhances the flavor, texture, and nutritional aspects, it
has also gained popularity for its nutritive and health-promoting potential; especially against diabetes complications,
cardiovascular disorders due to the presence of monounsaturated fats and other valuable minor components such as
phenolics etc.[9, 11, 15, 16]. Further, cucumber consumption is recommended for hypertension, treating Alzheimer's
disease, prevention of various skin problems, including swelling below the eyes, sunburn and are assumed to
increase cooling, healing, soothing, emollient and anti-itching effects to irritated skin.
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Figure-1. Fruits of different cucumber variteties: B. Green cucumber varieties, generally used for pickling C. White cucumber variety
Cucumber fruit can be pendulous, globose to tubular berry and can extend to over 30 cm in length. Usually, the
fruit is slightly rounded, sparsely tuberculate, or warty. When it gets younger, the fruit becomes a smooth and
glabrous shape, the peel is normally green, but in some cultivars (Figure 1) white, yellow or brown colors are
apparent while the flesh is pale green to white in color [18]. The cultivar, area of production, harvest time, and the
processing techniques employed are some of the factors shown to influence the composition of cucumber. This
review focuses comprehensively on the nutrients and high value bioactive compound profile as well as medicinal
and functional aspects of fresh and processed Cucumber. Multiple benefits associated with the phytochemical and
nutritional composition of this food commodity are also discussed in the following sections.
2. Nutritional Profile
Chemical composition represents an important factor with direct influence on the quality of gherkins. Gherkin
(Cucumis sativus L.) has similar nutrient values as cucumber [3]. The nutritional composition of a 100g portion of
cucumber includes most of its weight in water with proteins, fat and carbohydrates as primary metabolites and also
dietary fiber that is important for the digestive system [2, 12, 18-22]. The nutritional benefits of cucumber in terms
of micronutrient contributions are notable. Cucumber fruit generally contains water (95%) and minute amounts of
protein (0.6%), lipids (0.1%) and carbohydrates (2.2%) [2].
The Carbohydrate content of food samples is calculated as the difference between 100 and the total percent of
moisture, protein, fat, and ash [19]. According to USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) database,
carbohydrates account for 2.16g per 100g of the edible portion of raw cucumber and it’s further comprised of total
dietary fibre (0.7g), total sugars (1.38g), glucose (0.63g), fructose (0.75g) and starch (0.08g) [22]. Moreover, it is
comprised of fluorine (1.3mg), selenium (0.1mg); vitamin C (3.2mg), thiamin (0.031mg), riboflavin (0.025mg),
niacin (0.037mg), pantothenic acid (0.240mg), vitamin B-6 (0.051mg), folate (14μg), γ-tocopherol (0.02mg),
vitamin K (72mg), alpha-tocopherol (0.03mg), vitamin A (4μgRAE), vitamin A (72IU), choline (5.7mg), betaine
(0.1mg), beta-carotene (31μg), alpha-carotene (8μg), beta cryptoxanthin (18μg), lutein + zeaxanthin (16μg) and total
saturated fatty acids 0.013 g per 100g of the edible portion of raw cucumber [18, 22].
The proximate values of the cucumber fruits grown in different countries are tabulated in Table 1 with the
references. The average moisture content of cucumber studied by Abulude, et al. [19] have reported as 73.29%.
Nevertheless, all the other samples have reported moisture availability of cucumber nearly within 95% to 96%.
Moreover, in the aforementioned study, they have found that moisture content of the endocarp of cucumber fruit is
95.26% [19]. This might be due to the morphological variations such as the presence of a hard pericarp. The cultivar,
area of production and harvest time may be the reasons behind slight variations in the nutritional composition.
Accordingly, a conclusion can be drawn that composition varies depending on the place where it has grown. In
recent studies, [20, 21] have explained that even though equal processing conditions are given in the brine
fermentation of different gherkin varieties, firmness and quality of the final products have correlated with the initial
moisture and mineral composition of the fresh fruits [20, 21].
Cucumber contains some essential vitamins and antioxidants which has an effect on human health [2, 13, 15].
The fresh cucumber supplies thiamine, vitamin C, niacin, phosphorus, iron, calcium and other nutritional factors
[12]. Most vegetables contain substantial amounts of minerals, particularly calcium, iron, and potassium. But
mineral content is not an indicator of nutritive value as the presence of interfering substances (ex: oxalic or phytic
acid) can hinder bioavailability of these micronutrients. Among the minerals, cucumber fruit is rich in calcium,
potassium and sodium compared to the availability of copper, manganese and iron (Table 2).
Potassium is very mobile in the plant. This mobility and the participation of K in activating numerous important
enzyme reactions are significant properties of this element. Potassium has been given credit for several important
roles in plant nutrition linked with the quality of production. Fiber includes insoluble fiber (lignin, cellulose, and
hemicelluloses) and soluble fiber (pectins, β-glucans, galactomannan gums, and a large range of non-digestible
oligosaccharides including inulin) [23]. Dietary fiber as a class of compounds includes a mixture of plant
Sumerianz Journal of Biotechnology
carbohydrate polymers, both oligosaccharides, and polysaccharides, ex: cellulose, hemicelluloses, pectic substances,
gums, resistant starch and inulin, that may be associated with lignin and other non-carbohydrate components such as
polyphenols, waxes, saponins, phytates, and resistant protein [16].
Manganese is recognized for its significance in bone metabolism and is critical in enzyme reactions and the
continuance of normal nerve and brain functions [19]. Mn deficiency is rare but can impair the brain, glucose
sensitivity, reproduction, bone, and cartilage development [24, 25]. The mineral Zinc supports the health of the
immune system, normal synthesis of protein and the health of reproductive organs. The scarcity of Zn negatively
influences physical growth, nerve and immune functions, particularly in infants [19, 26]. Cu is required for blood,
nerves, joints, heart, skin, liver, and functions in immune systems. Copper is also critical for the absorption and
utilization of both Zn and Fe [27]. The inability to produce important antioxidant enzymes and a shortage of red
blood cells has been linked to Cu deficiency.
Table-1. Nutrition composition of Cucumis sativus fruit with references
Proximate composition
AOAC 1990
and Pearson
method 1976
Grams per100g
Mean value of
edible fruit
Abulude, et al. [19]
Grams per100g
of endo carp
AOAC 2000
method and
method 1976
As a percentage
Uzuazokaro, et al.
AOAC 2000
Vlasset variety,
100g of the fresh
Uthpala and
Marapana [21]
AOAC 2000
Ajax variety,
100g of the fresh
Uthpala and
Marapana [21]
Grams per 100g
of the fresh fruit
Sotiroudis, et al.
Raw cucumber
fruit per 100 g
edible portion
Lim [18],
Department of
Agriculture [22]
NM - Not mentioned
Table-2. Mineral composition of the cucumber fruit with references
Mean value of
edible fruit, mg per
and AAS
et al. [19]
Raw endo carp of
edible fruit,
mg per kg
Vlasset variety,
100g of the fresh
Ajax variety, 100g
of the fresh fruit
Raw cucumber
fruit, mg per 100 g
edible portion
Lim [18]
Note: Mean values of the mineral compositions of cucumber fruits. ND: Not Detected, NM- Not mentioned
3. Phytochemicals
Notwithstanding the commercial value of cucumber and its therapeutic interest, there are several studies that
have been carried out relevant to its chemical consistency and its bioactivity. Phytochemicals are secondary
metabolites produced by plants. These products are biologically active, naturally occurring substances in the plant,
furnishing health benefits for humans than macronutrients and micronutrients [17]. These studies mainly concern the
aroma constituents of fresh or fermented cucumber fruits [7, 8] or their fatty acid composition [11, 28]. Further, the
total antioxidant activity and total phenolic content of fresh cucumbers have already been determined [2, 12, 29] and
studies on polyphenolic content and antioxidant activity in various cucumber fruit tissues have been carried out.
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Table-3. Quantitative phytochemical constituents of the homogenate of Cucumis sativus fruit
Composition (mg/g)
[mean value] [12]
Spectrophotometric determination method [30]
Spectrophotometric method [31]
spectrophotometric method [31]
Alkaline picrate method [32, 33]
pH differentiation method [34]
Spectrophotometric method of by Quasheeh [35],
Trease and Evans [36]
Reducing sugars
Folin and Wu method [37]
Spectrometric determination method [38]
Harborne method [34]
Ferric chloride colorimetric method [39]
Oxidation method of Harborne [34]
Method described by Edeoga and others
UV absorption method of Harborne [34]
Chlorophyll a
Harborne [34] method
Chlorophyll b
Harborne [34] method
Nigerian scientists [16] have conducted a phytochemical screening on cucumber homogenate samples and they
have found that relatively higher amounts of steroids, terpenoids, glycosides, and resins are present in cucumber
while moderate amounts of saponins, alkaloids, and flavonoids have been reported. Quantitative amounts of the
phytochemicals available in fruit homogenate are tabulated in table 3 with the tested method conducted by
Uzuazokaro and others. The bio-active compound of reducing sugars found to be in the highest amount (574.4mg/g)
relatively compared to other phytochemicals followed by resins (50.7 mg/g), glycosides (32.2 mg/g), terpinoids
(26.3 mg/g), chlorophyll B (12 mg/g) and cyanogenic glycosides (0.21 mg/g) are the lowest available
phytochemicals. Sotiroudis, et al. [2] have revealed that there are 21 volatile chemicals available through GCMS
(gas chromatography-mass spectrometry) analysis in three different cultivars grown in Greece [2]. The major
components from the above analysis were found to be: Z-6-nonenol, E-2-nonenal, E,Z2,6-nonadienal, E-2-nonenal,
Z-3-nonenol, 3-nonenal, pentadecanal, 9,12,15-octadecatrienal and 9,17-octadecadienal [2, 18].
The availability of cucurbitacins, is the characteristic feature of the family Cucurbitaceae. Cucurbitacins (Figure
2) are basically triterpenoid substances responsible for their bitterness and toxicity [11, 41]. Structurally, they are
tetracyclic terpenes with steroid and have a tetracyclic cucurbitane nucleus skeleton, namely, -methyl-19-nor
lanosta-5-enea, which is arbitrarily divided into twelve categories [11]. Due to the effects of the enzyme elaterase,
cucurbitacins are hydrolyzed to its non-bitter form when cucumber fruits get matured [42]. Further, the oral
treatment of the pectin extracted from the cucumber fruits has exhibited notable hypolipidemic action in animals
Researchers have found that most of the volatile compounds available in the fresh fruit remained unchanged
during fermentation [8]. However, the potential of disrupted cucumber tissue to produce (E, Z)-2,6-nonadienal and
2-nonenal reduced during fermentation is prominent which gives fresh cucumber odor. Besides, linalool levels had
improved with the time of fermentation and it can achieve an odor threshold during the first 10 days of brine
fermentation [8]. Uronic acid (UA) is related to the cell wall component pectin. D-galacturonic acid determines the
pectin content present in the fruits [16]. UA content can be determined after acid hydrolysis of the sample and
reacting with carbozol directly measured by spectrophotometric methods. Uthpala and Marapana [21] have found
that irrespective of the variety, UA content of brine-fermented pickles have decreased as the pectin content decreases
with the time [16, 21]. Scriven and Meloan [44] have found that natural insects show repellent ability due to
presence of (E, Z)-2,6-nonadien-l-al and (E)-2-nonen-l-al compounds in crushed cucumber [44].
Figure-2. Chemical structure of cucurbitacin B
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4. Health Benefits
Cucumber is remarkably helpful for overall health; it could relieve thirst as it is rich in moisture and vital
nutrients that are necessary for the human body [45]. Cucurbitacin B (Figure 2) is a natural substance that is
discovered profusely in cucumbers, and it exerts anti-cancer potential primarily through apoptosis-induction in
diverse human cancer cells [46]. Also Gao, et al. [46] have found that cucurbitacin B encompasses potent chemo-
preventive activity against human prostate cancer [46]. Cucumber peel is a good source of dietary fiber that helps
reduce constipation and offers some assurance upon colon cancers by eliminating toxic aggregates from the
The disease of diabetes mellitus is increasing fast and symbolizes a vital lifestyle and fitness issue in society.
This disease and its associated complexities, comprising of nerve dysfunction, kidney failure, and heart failure, have
grown as significant reasons for morbidity and risk of death [47]. Cucumbers are contained with unique antioxidants
in moderate ratios such as ß-carotene and α-carotene, vitamin-C, vitamin-A, zeaxanthin and lutein. These
compounds help act as protecting collectors against oxygen-derived free radicals. Oxidative stress and carbonyl
stress play as crucial functions in the progression of diabetes and its associated difficulties over developing free
radical generation and weakening antioxidant defense systems [48, 49]. Various chemical and natural compounds
have been proposed for mitigating such complications linked to diabetes [4, 5]. Accordingly, Heidari, et al. [49]
have found that cucumber has protective impacts on diabetes developments and is recognized as a reliable food for
lowering the oxidative stress and carbonyl stress apparent in the disease of diabetes [49].
Also, cucumber juice is extremely good for hair, skin, and nails. Skin generates free radicals due to repeated sun
exposure, which leads to oxidative stresses and inflammatory responses in the dermal layer of the connective tissues
ending aging and harm to cell membranes and biological molecules [15, 50, 51]. Hyaluronic acid and elastin are
accountable for the elasticity of connective tissue and it reduces clearly during aging [52]. Researchers have found
that cucumber is a rich source of ascorbic acid and has the potential of anti-hyaluronidase and anti-elastase ability
which justifies the use of cucumber as a possible anti-wrinkle agent [15]. Utilization of cucumber for various skin
problems, including swelling below the eyes and sunburn are assumed to increase cooling, healing, soothing,
emollient, lenitive, anti-itching effect of irritated skin, and further cosmetic effects [11, 15]. Cucumber is a rich
source of Silicon which is beneficial for healthy connective tissues, ligaments, cartilages and etc. [18, 53].
Naturally fermented sour pickled cucumbers belong to the commodities preserved with salt and lactic acid.
Fermented cucumbers are microbiologically safe, nutritious, have appealing sensory attributes, and can conveniently
be stored for long periods without refrigeration [54]. Moreover, these pickles are recognized for their probiotic
potential. Hence fermented cucumber pickles are health wise beneficial due to the availability of probiotic lactic acid
bacteria (LAB) in the fermented cucumbers [55]. Lacto fermented cucumber is comprised of helpful bacteria that
hinder the growth of unhealthy microorganisms in the intestines [3].
Further, cucumbers have moderate diuretic potential, which is reasonably attributed to their free-water,
potassium and low sodium content. This helps in checking weight gain and high blood pressure. High potassium in
cucumber helps to lower blood pressure. They are rich in Vitamin-K which plays vital role in the bone mass
developing activity [19]. Moreover, it is used in the treatment of Alzheimer's disease patients by limiting neuronal
damage in their brain. Moreover, cucumber consumption is recommended for hypertension, treating Alzheimer’s
disease [56, 57], prevention of various skin problems (swelling below the eyes, sunburn) and are assumed to increase
cooling, healing, soothing, emollient, lenitive and for anti-itching effect of irritated skin [11].
5. Conclusion
Cucumber is a rich source of important nutrients and bioactive compounds and is consumed as a healthy food
which is further used in pharmacological activities, beauty care, and insecticidal purposes. Cucumbers are
recognized as vegetables with multiple biological activities including, antioxidant, anti-carcinogenic, anti-
hyaluronidase, anti-elastase, anti-inflammatory, anti-hyperglycemic, diuretic, amylolytic, antimicrobial, and
analgesic effects.
Health benefits of fresh cucumbers include prevention of diabetes mellitus, hypertension, treating Alzheimer's
disease, preventing cancer and anti-aging, while fermented cucumber is rich in fiber and probiotics. The nutritional,
phytochemical and health benefits detailed throughout this article will serve to maximize the utilized health interests
of this unique vegetable.
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... speciosa) (Buanasari et al., 2017;Chhikara et al., 2018;Saleh et al., 2021;Singhania et al., 2021) and cucumber (C. sativus) (Uthpala et al., 2020;Uzuazokaro et al., 2018) which have anti-inflammatory, anti-hyperglycemic, and anti-microbial properties. Then, similar compounds were also found in cabbage (B. ...
The local knowledge of indigenous people about traditional vegetables has been well documented. However, there is little conventional plant documentation biodiversity on indigenous vegetables used as lalapan in West Java, Indonesia. The method used in this study was a qualitative method using an exploratory approach. Informants, including traditional leaders, indigenous people, and the Sundanese younger generation, provided data. Credibility, transferability, dependability, and confirmability tests were used to determine the data validity. The data were evaluated using data reduction, visualization, and verification techniques. Then, to show the local importance of each species, Relative Frequency of Citation (RFC) analysis was conducted, and The usage value (UV) analysis was used to determine the relative usefulness of plants in a given location. There were 86 species of edible indigenous vegetables consumed as lalapan, which belong to 32 families. The vegetables were accumulated from four traditional villages. The implication of indigenous vegetables as lalapan is a top priority to ensure nutrition, public health, and food security.
... Several studies carried out in fresh whole vegetables reported different concentrations of TDF compared to the DFCs considered in the present study. For instance, Uthpala et al. [39] found that TDF in fresh cucumber varied from 0.7 to 20.4%. In raw red pepper, Vega-Gálvez et al. [40] reported 1.2 g/100 g of TDF of fresh weight. ...
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The agro-food industry generates a large volume of by-products, whose revaluation is essential for the circular economy. From these by-products, dietary fibre concentrates (DFCs) can be obtained. Therefore, the objective of this study was to characterise (a) the proximal composition by analysing soluble, insoluble and total Dietary Fibre (DF), (b) the physicochemical properties, and (c) the phenolic profile of artichoke, red pepper, carrot, and cucumber DFCs. In addition, the bioaccessibility of phenolic compounds was also evaluated after in vitro gastrointestinal and colonic digestions. The results showed that the DFCs had more than 30 g/100 g dw. The water holding and retention capacity of the DFCs ranges from 9.4 to 18.7 g of water/g. Artichoke DFC presented high concentration of phenolic compounds (8340.7 mg/kg) compared to the red pepper (304.4 mg/kg), carrot (217.4 mg/kg) and cucumber DFCs (195.7 mg/kg). During in vitro gastrointestinal digestion, soluble phenolic compounds were released from the food matrix, chlorogenic acid, the principal compound in artichoke and carrot DFCs, and hesperetin-7-rutinoside in red pepper cucumber DFCs. Total phenolic content decreased after in vitro colonic digestion hence the chemical transformation of the phenolic compounds by gut microbiota. Based on the results, DFCs could be good functional ingredients to develop DF-enriched food, reducing food waste.
... Cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.) is one of the most important commercial vegetable crops cultivated in all regions worldwide with an annual production of 91.3 million tons in 2020 [1]. Nutritionally, cucumber contains a high amount of water, low calories, high levels of phenolic compounds and cucurbitacins, and possesses antioxidant, antidiabetic, anti-inflammatory, anti-hyperglycemic, and anti-carcinogenic activities [2,3]. However, this important vegetable product is very perishable, and during postharvest handling and processing, its quality attributes are easily deteriorated [4]. ...
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This study investigated the effect of functional coating using 2% chitosan and different concentrations of olive cake extract (OCE) and orange peel extract (OPE) on the physicochemical quality attributes of cucumber during cold storage at 4 °C for 21 days. Both coating and storage influenced (p ≤ 0.05) the physicochemical attributes of cucumber. The highest values of moisture content, total soluble solids (TSS), pH, total phenolic contents (TPC), DPPH radical scavenging activity, yellowness (b*), and hardness were found in coated samples, which also showed the lowest values of the lightness (L*), greenness (a*), total viable count (TVC), yeast and mold counts, and acidity (p ≤ 0.05). Uncoated cucumber samples showed the highest (p ≤ 0.05) levels of acidity, lightness, greenness, TVC, and yeast and mold count. During storage, concomitant (p ≤ 0.05) reduction in moisture, TSS, pH, TPC, DPPH radical scavenging activity, L*, a*, b*, and hardness along with concurrent (p ≤ 0.05) increment in acidity, TVC, and yeast and mold count were evident in all cucumber samples. Interestingly, the changes in the aforementioned attributes were minimal in functionally coated samples in comparison to uncoated ones, suggesting the potential of OCE and OPE to preserve quality attributes of cucumber during cold storage.
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Agri-food companies produce large quantities of plant by-products that in many instances contain functional bioactive compounds. This review summarizes the main applications of agro-industrial by-products in cheesemaking, considering their bioactivities and functional properties. Polyphenol-rich by-products increase antioxidant and antimicrobial activity in cheeses, positively impacting their shelf life. Contrasting results have been obtained regarding the color and sensory properties of enriched cheeses depending on the selected by-products and on the technology adopted for the extract preparation. Furthermore, functional compounds in cheeses perform a prebiotic function and their bioavailability improves human health. Overall, the use of agri-food by-products in cheese formulation can offer benefits for agri-food chain sustainability and consumer health.
Pectobacterium carotovorum is a problematic bacterial pathogen causing soft rot in different vegetable crops, resulting in yield losses during pre- and post-harvest periods. In this study, Bacillus velezensis CE 100 showed antibacterial activity against P. carotovorum. Co-inoculation experiment indicated that B. velezensis CE 100 reduced the proliferation rate of P. carotovorum at the early incubation period and that a long incubation time induced a loss of viability of the bacterial pathogen. Agar well diffusion assay revealed that the culture filtrate of strain CE 100 affected the growth of P. carotovorum in a dose-dependent pattern. In time-kill assay, inoculation of P. carotovorum with 50% culture filtrate of strain CE 100 resulted in a complete loss of survival at 4 h incubation period. An antibacterial compound isolated from chloroform extract of B. velezensis CE 100 was identified as macrolactin A based on results of ¹H and ¹³C NMR and mass spectrometry. However, time-kill assay showed that purified macrolactin A at a concentration of 200 μg/mL was not highly effective to control the growth of P. carotovorum although reduction in cell number of P. carotovorum was observed. Moreover, in vivo assay revealed that B. velezensis CE 100 effectively controlled bacterial soft rot. As a consequence, it significantly improved cucumber growth. Therefore, B. velezensis CE 100 could be used as an eco-friendly bioagent for effective control of bacterial soft rot to minimize global economic losses in crop production.
For the first time, cucumber peel (CP) biomass was used to produce a novel three-dimensional (3D) carbon precursor using simple pyrolysis. The carbon precursor was then converted into a series of N-doped microporous carbons using a facile solvent-free process involving a chemical agent and melamine. A solvent-free process is an effective approach because it does not require hazardous solvents, several complex steps, and high costs. The optimized sample (CP–K-900) has a high CO2 adsorption capacity (7.3 mmol g⁻¹ at 273 K and 1 bar) because it has (i) excellent textural features (a high specific surface area (SSA) of 2682 m² g⁻¹, large micropore volume of 1.01 cm³ g⁻¹, and high concentration (65.1%) of narrow micropores (<0.7 nm)), high degree of graphitization, and (ii) a feasible concentration of self-doped N and O contents. According to our experimental results, porous textural features is more imperative for high CO2 uptakes than high N-doping contents. A micropore size of less than 1 nm produced the best-fit linear relationship with CO2 capture at 273 K. Furthermore, the optimized material has an intermediate isosteric heat of adsorption (46.4 kJ mol⁻¹), indicating the physisorption nature of the adsorption process. The excellent regeneration ability of microporous carbons over six consecutive adsorption-desorption cycles under flue gas conditions (15%CO2/85%N2) revealed the potential of as-designed cost-effective and feasible microporous carbonaceous materials for efficient practical environmental remediation applications.
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Cucumber fruit is rich in fiber, carbohydrates, protein, magnesium, iron, vitamin B, vitamin C, flavonoids, phenolic compounds, and antioxidants. Agrochemical-based production of cucumber has tripled yields; however, excessive synthetic fertilization has caused problems in the accumulation of salts in the soil and has increased production costs. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effect of three strains of plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) on cucumber fruit growth and quality under greenhouse conditions. The rhizobacteria Pseudomonas paralactis (KBendo6p7), Sinorhizobium meliloti (KBecto9p6), and Acinetobacter radioresistens (KBendo3p1) was adjusted to 1 � 108 CFU mL􀀀1. The results indicated that the inoculation with PGPR improved plant height, stem diameter, root length, secondary roots, biomass, fruit size, fruit diameter, and yield, as well as nutraceutical quality and antioxidant capacity, significantly increasing the response of plants inoculated with A. radioresistens and S. meliloti in comparison to the control. In sum, our findings showed the potential functions of the use of beneficial bacteria such as PGPR for crop production to reduce costs, decrease pollution, and achieve world food safety and security.
The aim of this research was to examine whether sour cream (18% fat) is an exogenous source of oxysterols and whether it is possible to improve its antioxidative properties and to modulate cholesterol transformation by adding cucumber. To determine whether cucumber modifies the properties of sour cream, fresh cucumber or cucumber pickle (pH 3.3; 1.5% lactic acid) was added in an amount of 20%. The sour cream samples were then stored under light (450 lx, 590 cd, 120 lm) for 3 wk. After storage, the addition of the cucumber pickle increased total mesophilic aerobic bacteria from 7.5 to 9.3 log cfu/g and increased the l-lactic acid content from 6.1 to 9.7 g/L. The total conjugated linoleic acid content in sour cream with cucumber pickle also increased to 4.5 mg/g fat after storage, whereas the cholesterol content decreased to 3.44 g/kg fat. Importantly, with the addition of cucumber pickle, the total content of cholesterol oxidization products (COP) did not change after storage (1.7 mg/kg fat). By contrast, the total COP content in the control sour cream sample increased from 1.7 to 7.3 mg/kg fat over 3 wk of storage. The dominant COP before and after storage was 7β-hydroxycholesterol. Thus, despite exposure to light, adding cucumber pickle to sour cream modulates cholesterol transformation and effectively inhibits the formation of oxysterols.
Cucumber fruits commercialization is of great economic national, and global importance; however, this product suffers substantial postharvest losses, mainly due to poor and inadequate transport, handling, and postharvest storage. In this study, the application of poly(vinyl acetate–co–vinyl alcohol), P(VAc-co-VA), latex coatings added with calcium oxide (CaO) nanoparticles (NP) that have demonstarted antimicrobial activity, is reported. The experiment consisted of two controls [Control (no latex coating) and latex coating without NP], as well as the latex coatings added with CaONP at 50, 100, and 150 mg·L⁻¹. Cucumber fruits were grown ad hoc, monitoring the cultivation with corresponding cultural activities for this experiment and, once harvested, undamaged and malformation-free fruits were selected. Treatments were applied during the day of harvest and inside a cold chamber at 10 °C, where the fruits were stored. The visual quality of the fruits as well as their physical and chemical parameters were determined during the storage period every three days. The results indicated that CaONP coatings provided positive effects on the appearance, visual quality, pigments, and antioxidants contents of the fruits in the applied concentrations (50, 100, and 150 mg·L⁻¹). These changes allowed maintaining the quality properties of cucumbers during storage, extending the shelf-life up to 24 days postharvest. Thus, the P(VAc-co-VA) coating added with calcium oxide NP represents an alternative to postharvest treatment for cucumbers, providing higher luminosity and better visual quality, which is the main factor influencing the purchase and consumption of fruit products.
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The study was aimed to evaluate how drying methods and extracting solvents can preserve antimicrobial properties of Acmella flower pods. Four drying techniques [sun drying (SD), air drying (AD), oven drying (OD), and cooling with dehumidifying (CWD)] and three different solvent extractions [ethanol extracts (EE), water extracts (WE) and pet ether extracts (PEE)] were employed to evaluate extraction yield (EY), phytochemical analysis and in vitro antibacterial activity.The highest EY was observed in CWD dried WE. Alkaloids, tannin and quinone were detected in all extracts while flavonoid only in SD and CWD dried EE. CWD dried WE comprised all tested phytochemicals, except flavonoids. CWD dried WE showed higher zones of inhibitions (ZOI) 18.8, 14.0, 12.0, 20.2 and 17.3 mm for S. aureus, B. subtilis, E. coli, P. aeruginosa and C. albicans respectively. CWD dried pod extracts showed higher effectivity against bacteria and fungus while lowest given by SD extracts. CWD dried WE gave 20 volatile compounds in GC‐MS, including dilauryl thiodipropionate, clionasterol and spilanthol. This study provided a comprehensive evaluation of how the drying method and solvent used for extraction of Acmella oleracea flower pods can effect on the extraction yield, available phytoconstituents, and antimicrobial activity. Through this study, it was recognized that CWD drying followed by water extraction is the best method to preserve antimicrobial potential and bioactive constituents in preserving raw Acmella oleracea flower pods. Phytochemical availability and ability to inhibit Gram‐negative, positive bacteria and fungus is an indication of Acmella flower pods’ antimicrobial potential which can be employed to control food pathogenic microorganisms in food industry.
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Acmella oleracea (L.) R.K.Jansen belongs to the family Asteraceae is generally called “toothache plant”. Though Acmella genus has complex patterns, the cylindrical discoid capitula which owe agolden yellow color with red tip make it unique. It is an annual herb, occurring around the world and, is cultivated for horticultural, pharmacological (anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, anesthetic, antioxidant, antiseptic, antiobesity and anticancer), insecticidal, personal care and culinary purposes. Spilanthol is the major alkamide available in Acmella plant, responsible for its unique sensorial effects. There have been remarkable promote in A.oleracea herb in multidisciplinary studies, and anumber of commercial products have been invented over the years. Its application in the food industry has been scarcely explored and make opportunities for further research. This review provides an updated overview of the growing conditions of the plant, identification methods, edibility as food, functional properties, phytochemicals, and other applications which opens future applications in food production.
Conference Paper
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All regions over the world experience different kind of disasters caused by natural and man-made consequences. Floods, storms, tsunami, drought and etc. are frequently recorded disasters in the region of South Asia. As an after-effects of disasters, it is common to experience public health and hygiene issues due to outbreaks of infectious diseases caused by common pathogens like E. coli, Shigella, Hepatitis. This is caused by the destruction of sanitation systems and displacement of the population which leads to poor hygienic surroundings. Recent studies have shown that it is essential to keep safe the hygienic condition of person and environment of public, which implies the necessity of being clean after the disasters.. Therefore inventing herbal based sanitizing liquid which is highly safe, efficient, convenient and cost-effective could be used to mitigate the disasters by managing in the ways of ensuring personal and environmental hygiene.
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Cucumber is a vegetable crop which belongs to the family cucurbitaceae. Gherkin (Cucumis sativus L.) which is generally known as commercial cucumber thought to have originated from Asian region. Most cucumbers are grown all around the world for the fresh market and among them gherkins have a great economic demand. These fruits are utilized in fresh salads and also consumed as boiled, fried, stewed cooked foams. Cucumber is a seasonal fruit which should preserved to make it available throughout the year. These fruits preserved by dipping it in a solution of salt or vinegar are known as pickles and mostly immature fruits are used. Brine solution comprised with water, salt, Calcium chloride, acetic acid and B80 clay etc. are generally used for the fermentation of fresh gherkins. Due to the flavor, texture and its nutritional aspects, brine fermented gherkin pickling leads higher consumer demand. In this book chapter, the origin of cucumber, current context of cucumber pickling in Sri Lanka, the process and the ingredients used in brine pickling, principle of preservation in brine pickling, factors affecting in fermenting cucumber, the types of quality defects and advantages of brine pickling are discussed.
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Ajax and Vlasset gherkin (Cucumis sativus L.) varieties used in brine pickling were analyzed for its sensory attributes and physicochemical changes within 6 month of brine fermentation. Sensory characteristics (colour, texture, odour and overall acceptability) of brine fermented fruits were determined using five point hedonic scale. Uronic acid content (UA) and moisture variation were determined within 6 months. Ca and Na ion absorption was done for the fruits within fermentation and after de-brining. The results revealed that sensory perception of texture attribute among cultivars have apparent impact after brining. In view of all sensory parameters of varieties, 1st and 6th month Vlasset were obtained the highest sensory quality while the least preferred were obtained within 1st, 3rd and 6th month of Ajax. A positive correlation (0.829) between Calcium and Sodium ion absorption were noted irrespective to the variety. The data obtained from the de-bring process showed lower retention of both Calcium and Sodium ion in Ajax than Vlasset which may lead to lower sensory quality. Calcium ion level of Ajax and Vlasset varieties have declined from 54% and 16.47% respectively while Sodium level of Ajax and Vlasset have declined from 84.13% and 55.547% respectively compared to before de-brining process. Irrespective to the variety UA was continuously decreased up to 3 months while it increased in both varieties up to 6month. Vlasset was noted to have higher UA content than Ajax before and after the fermentation period. Moreover a positive correlation was observed (0.858) between moisture and UA content.
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Gherkin (Cucumis sativus L.) is an important cucurbitaceous vegetable. The pickling type gherkins are produced in Sri Lanka since 1988 for export market and it expanded over several agrological regions. Locally grown two gherkin varieties (Ajax and Vlasset) were tested for proximate composition (moisture, dry matter, ash, mineral, protein, fat, dietary fibre and carbohydrate) of raw fruits (AOAC methods) and within 6 month of brine fermentation, firmness measurements (FTA) were recorded and varieties were evaluated. Vlasset and Ajax varieties contained 96.30% and 95.54% moisture, respectively. The ash, protein and fat were higher (p<0.05) and dietary fibre, carbohydrate lower in Ajax. Mg, K and Zn content were higher (p<0.05) in Ajax noted as 16.60 ± 1.47, 194.0± 7.80 and 14.69± 0.40 respectively while Vlasset was noted lower values. Ca (10.62± 0.59 ) and Na (13.46 ±0.43) were greater in Vlasset while Ajax was given lower values. Both varieties showed K to be highest followed by Zn, Na and Ca while Mg amount was secondly highest in Ajax and lowest in Vlasset. Firmness variation of both exocarp and mesocarp of Vlasset has shown same pattern while giving maximum reading in the 2nd month after fermentation. Firmness variation of exocarp and mesocarp of Ajax was not followed same pattern while maximum value was recorded in 5th and 2nd month respectively. These findings indicated that Sri Lankan gherkins have similar nutrient values as cucumber. Even initial moisture content is higher in Vlasset than Ajax variety the better textural quality is apparent in Vlasset supported by physicochemical properties of higher dietary fibre, carbohydrate, minerals (Ca, Na) and having higher firmness in mesocarp tissue than exocarp.
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Naturally fermented sour pickled cucumbers belong to the products stabilized with salt and lactic acid. Factors affecting cucumber fermentation are discussed in this chapter since they have an impact on shelf-life, the nutritional and sensory value, flavor, digestibility, nutrient retention, and reduction of toxicity and antinutrient removal. During fermentation, lactic acid bacteria (LAB) synthesize several bacteriocins and liberate antimicrobial peptides, which are inhibitory to spoilage bacteria. Fermented cucumbers are microbiologically safe, nutritious, and flavorful, have appealing sensory characteristics, and can be conveniently stored for extended periods without refrigeration. Their health benefits are associated with probiotic LAB isolated from fermented cucumbers and their ability to produce bacteriocins. Fermented cucumber is also recognized as a source of macronutrients and starter cultures with high oligosaccharide productivity.
This handbook is filled with over 50 illustrations and descriptions of approximately 250 plants which are used for herbal medicine. It includes the most current information available today on medicinal plants ranging from Abies spectabilis to Zizyphus vulgaris. The purpose of this handbook is to make available a reference for easy, accurate identification of these herbs. Derived from India, “Ayurveda” is the foundation stone of their ancient medical science. Approximately 80 percent of the population of India and other countries in the East continue to utilize this system of medicinal treatment. It is believed that the key to successful medication is the use of the correct herb. This is an indispensable resource for all physicians, pharmacists, drug collectors, and those interested in the healing art.
Fermented foods are known for their potential as main source of probiotics. The present study aimed at investigating the probiotic properties of bacteria isolated from fermented mango pickle. Non-hemolytic fermenting microbiota isolated from mango pickle was screened in vitro for their basic probiotic properties such as acid tolerance, bile salt, lysozyme and salt tolerance. They were also tested for their beneficial characters like cholesterol removal, bacterial adhesion to hydrocarbons, auto-aggregation, antimicrobial activity, β-galactosidase activity, exopolysaccharide production and adhesion to HT-29 cell line. Outputs of these parameters were subjected to principal component analysis (PCA) and these results were interpreted to select prospective bacterial isolates that can be used as potential probiotics. Out of eight isolates, PUFSTP35 (Bacillus licheniformis), PUFSTP38 (Bacillus amyloliquefaciens) and PUFSTP39 (Bacillus subtilis) showed similar trend to Weissella cibaria (MTCC 9814) that was used as a reference strain for profiling probiotic properties. B. licheniformis PUFSTP35 from fermented mango pickle appear to be the most potential candidate for use as a beneficial probiotic.